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Golden Eaglets’ Yahaya Lawali Wanted By Barcelona, Top European Clubs




Golden Eaglets defender, Yahaya Lawali is wanted by Barcelona and some other top European clubs in countries like France and Belgium ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window.

Lawali was the brightest spot for Nigeria during the 2023 Under-17 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Algeria which saw the Golden Eaglets exit the competition in the quarter-finals.

The right-back featured in all of the Golden Eaglets’ four games at the ongoing U-17 AFCON which will end this weekend even as he won the Man of the Match award on two occasions.

Lawali was named Man of the Match against both Zambia and Morocco and the 16-year-old was also included in the group stage Best X1 by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

The Team of the Group Stage was unveiled by the Tournament’s Technical Study Group (TGI) and published on CAF’s U-17 AFCON Twitter handle on Saturday.

The Guardian has now learnt that the Mahanaim FC player who can also play as a left-back and midfielder is drawing the attention of Barcelona and some clubs in France and Belgium.

“U-17 Wonderkid & @mahanaimFC product, Yahaya Lawali is being chased by Barcelona plus top clubs in France & Belgium,” top Nigerian photo-journalist, Poojah tweeted.

“Remember that he won the man of the match twice and was selected in the Group Stage XI by CAF at the U17 AFCON.”

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Iwobi’s Everton Survive As Iheanacho, Ndidi’s Leicester City Relegated



Alex Iwobi

Awoniyi can’t stop scoring as Forest hold Palace

Super Eagles’ midfielder, Alex Iwobi, was ecstatic as Everton escaped relegation on a dramatic final day of 2022/23 English Premier League season.

Everton needed a win to ensure another stay in the elite division of English football no matter what happened at Leeds and Leicester City.
The Liverpool-based side, which has the second-longest residence in the upper division, saw their hopes threatened early in the first half when news filtered in that Leicester City had taken the lead against West Ham through Harvey Barnes.

But the Merseysiders’ nerves were calmed in the 57th minute when Abdoulaye Doucoure released an unstoppable shot to give the home team the lead.
Thereafter, Sean Dyche knew that all Everton needed to do to remain a Premier League team was to defend their advantage and they went about the job tenaciously.

Even with 10 minutes added time, Everton stuck to their task until the referee called off the game.
The win made Leicester City’s 2-1 defeat of West Ham meaningless, as they became the second team after Blackburn Rovers to win the title and then go down shortly.

That means that Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi will play in the second-tier English Championship next season.
Leeds had no hopes of survival after surrendering to a 1-4 home defeat by Tottenham.

It means they, alongside Leicester and Southampton will play in the lower division next season.

Elsewhere, Taiwo Awoniyi continued his unstoppable form in front of goal when he netted Nottingham Forest’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.
With Forest having secured their Premier League status last weekend and Palace long since safe, there was a celebratory atmosphere at Selhurst Park before kick-off.

Awoniyi kept the away fans in good spirits when he raced on to Morgan Gibbs-White’s superb through ball, twisted and turned before firing into the bottom corner on 31 minutes.

It came just a minute after Eberechi Eze had seen his close-range effort blocked on the line by his own team-mate, Jordan Ayew, at the other end.

Palace were on top for much of the second half and found the equaliser after 66 minutes when Will Hughes headed in from Michael Olise’s cross.

Neither side was able to find a winner and both teams can begin their plans for next season in earnest, although for Palace it remains to be seen whether that will be with Roy Hodgson at the helm.

At the Emirates, Arsenal defeated Wolves 5-0 with the departing Granit Xhaka netting twice. Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus and Kiwior scored the other goals.

Relegated Southampton drew 4-4 with Liverpool, Man United defeated Fulham 2-1, Chelsea drew 1-1 with Newcastle, Aston Villa beat Brighton 2-1, while Brentford beat champions, Man City 1-0.

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Samuel Chukwueze: Torn Between St James’ Park And San Siro




With his contract just remaining a year and Villarreal not wanting to risk him leaving for free, Samuel Chukwueze’s days with El Madrigal are definitely numbered. What is however not definite is his next destination. While Newcastle are targeting the Super Eagle as a replacement for out of favour Allan Saint-Maximin, Italian giants – AC Milan are courting the winger for a summer move to the San Siro to boost their Champions League campaign 

Super Eagles winger, Samuel Chukwueze may be plying his football trade at St. James’ Park next season, if reports emanating from Estadio Deportivo is anything to go by as the Magpies have expressed interest in the Villarreal’s winger as a potential candidate to fill Saint-Maximin’s boots.

Chukwueze, known for his electrifying pace and technical prowess, left a lasting impression earlier this season when he tormented Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid, netting a memorable brace in Villarreal’s 3-2 victory.

Similar to Alexander Isak, Chukwueze possesses the ability to captivate spectators with his dazzling displays while maintaining an unwavering commitment to hard work.

The Nigerian winger has established himself as a veteran of the Spanish top flight, amassing over 200 appearances and contributing six goals and five assists in 34 La Liga matches this season.

With Chukwueze’s contract set to expire in a year, Villarreal may be compelled to offload him at a bargain price, presenting an enticing opportunity for Newcastle to secure his services.

As Eddie Howe looks to strengthen his squad for the challenges that lie ahead, acquiring a player of Chukwueze’s caliber would undoubtedly enhance the Magpies’ attacking prowess and reinforce their aspirations for success in the upcoming European campaign

Newcastle United’s impressive performance throughout the 2022/23 campaign has positioned them for an exciting season ahead, one that may include Champions League football alongside their Premier League commitments.

As the Magpies set their sights on European competition, manager Howe faces the challenge of bolstering his team strategically.

Maintaining the team’s harmony and work ethic is crucial for Newcastle, as they aim to avoid disrupting the delicate equilibrium that has contributed to their success thus far.

Yet, with the impending departure of talented forward Allan Saint-Maximin, it becomes imperative to find a suitable replacement

Interestingly, AC Milan are considering making a summer move for the Villarreal winger.

According to Calcio Style, Milan have other options for the right-wing position but view the Nigerian as a more realistic target.

The player, who celebrated his 24th birthday last Monday, is valued at €20m and has one year remaining on his contract.

Villarreal will be looking to sell Chukwueze this summer instead of losing him for free next year.

He has notched six goals and five assists in 34 league outings for the Yellow Submarine this season.

Meanwhile, Chukwueze, posted an outstanding display in his 150th LaLiga appearance for the Yellow Submarines in their 1-1 draw at Valencia at the Mestalla stadium.

The 24-year-old, who was making his 32nd league appearance of the season, was substituted for Gerard Moreno with nine minutes left to play.

He becomes the fourth Nigerian with the most LaLiga games after the trio of Ike Uche, Mutiu Adepoju and Finidi George.

Uche, who spent most of his European career in Spain playing for (Recreativo, Getafe, Zaragoza, Villarreal, Granada and Málaga) at different levels for 13 years made 193 appearances scoring 43 goals, making him the highest Nigerian scorer in the Spanish LaLiga.

Villarreal celebrated the Super Eagles forward for reaching 200 caps at the club.

His performances have proved key in helping the Yellow Submarine to fifth place in Laliga and a slim chance of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.

The club has now celebrated Chukwueze for reaching the landmark, giving him a jersey with the number 200.

He was celebrated alongside Yeremy Pino, Etienne Capoue, and Dani Parejo, who reached 100 caps for the club.

Chukwueze has attracted some top clubs with his displays this season. He could be on his way out if Villarreal receive a good offer.

However, Real Madrid has reportedly made inquiries about  the Nigerian winger following his impressive performance against the Los Blancos earlier this month.

The 24-year-old Villarreal attacker caught the attention of Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez after scoring a brace in his team’s 3-2 victory over the Spanish giants at the Santiago-Bernabeu.

Renowned journalist Pedro Pablo Parrado (as per Maxifoot) revealed that Perez contacted Fernando Roig, Villarreal’s president, to inquire about Chukwueze’s availability.

Chukwueze possesses a transfer release clause set at €100 million, which could potentially be reduced to €80 million during the upcoming summer transfer window, as per several sources.

Real Madrid could be in the market to strengthen their attack in the summer. Marco Asensio is out of contract and Carlo Ancelotti has said he “doesn’t care” if the forward sign a new deal. Eden Hazard’s future is also uncertain, with the Belgian struggling for minutes once again at the Bernabeu.

Chukwueze became the first player to complete seven dribbles in a LaLiga match against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu (seven out of eight) since Lionel Messi in April 2017 (seven out of 11).

Premier League clubs, including Aston Villa have already expressed interest in securing the services of the promising player.

It however remains to be seen if Chukwueze will say goodbye to El Madrigal at  the end of the season.

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We‘Ll Shock Brazil, Flying Eagles Vow




• Win World Cup, Get Plot Of Land In Abuja, Wamakko Tells Players

The Flying Eagles have vowed to cage five times World champions, Brazil, in their last group match today at the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup. The Nigerians, who are runners-up on two occasions, at Saudi Arabia ‘89 and The Netherlands 2005, as well as bronze medallists at USSR ’85, arrived in Buenos, on Thursday, ahead of the clash against the junior Samba Boys.

The Flying Eagles, against all expectations, defeated Italy 2-0 in their second group match to hit the top of the group and booked their passage to the second round.

Perhaps, the biggest motivation for the players in the competition is a promise made to them by the Proprietor of Jedo FC of Sokoto, Alhaji Aliyu Oroji Wamakko, who called them shortly before their game against Italy.

Speaking with The Guardian from the team’s camp in Argentina, yesterday, Secretary General of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mohammed Sanusi, said: “I am sure the players won’t let Nigeria down in this World Cup because they are well motivated. Before the second group match against Italy, the President of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAM), Alhaji Aliyu Oroji Wamakko, who is a football stakeholder, called the players and told them to go and win the World Cup and get a plot of land in Abuja.

“Alhaji (Dr) Oroji is Ciroman Wamakko, and a man of his words. He promised the players that he will give each of them a land measuring 500 square meters in the FCT that can contain a 4-bedroom flat and a Boys Quarter. The players were so excited, and that boosted their morale in their game against Italy. No motivation will be bigger than that, and I am sure the players will like to have a land in Abuja,” Sanusi stated.

Meanwhile, coach Ladan Bosso is optimistic his boys will get better as the competition progresses.

“It’s massive beating Italy that defeated highly-rated Brazil 3-2 by two unreplied goals, and that gives me the confidence that boys, most of whom are debuting at such a big stage are now ready to give the World Cup a real go.”

Asked what are his plans against Brazil, Bosso said: “Having watched Brazilian play, I think we know how to handle them, but I will consider giving the other players who have yet to feature in our two games an opportunity to showcase themselves.”

Today’s match will hold at the Estadio Unico Diego Maradona in La Plata. Nigeria needs a draw to top Group D.

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